Glasgow has a plethora of great tourist attractions, from its Victorian architecture and museums to its legendary music venues and restaurants. What some don’t know is that Glasgow has a fantastic shopping scene. With trains from London taking under 5 hours, a weekend shopping minibreak is well worth considering. Here are the places to check out.
A true Glasgow original, Barras Markets run every weekend, and definte the spirit of the city. Ostensibly a flea-market, they sell anything from DVDs to furniture, and everything in between. Haggling is encouraged, and the lively atmosphere sets it apart from other markets. Brimming with energy, spending a day exploring its many stalls is highly encouraged, as is taking a break in the nearby Glasgow Green, the city’s oldest park.
Glasgow has a thriving vintage scene, which can be found all over the city, but particularly the West End. Places such as Saratoga Trunk (by Anderston Station) – an enormous warehouse full of thousands of items dating from Victorian to present day – are well worth visiting. 50s, 60s and 70s styles can be found in Retro over in Kelvinbridge and don’t forget the visit the more generic but still useful Salvation Army and Barnardo’s charity shop branches.
Glasgow city centre is great for high-quality, upmarket brands. Granted, many of these won’t be Glasgow-specific, but it’s still worth a look for its close proximity and density of shops. The Stile Mile has a good mixture of niche and mainstream shops, featuring malls, independent boutiques, designer stores and one-off speciality shops. Different areas include the recently built Buchanan Quarter, Buchanan Galleries and other established department stores like John Lewis and Hamleys.
Letting off steam
Shopping is surprisingly tiring, so make sure you fit in some down time between all this retail therapy. In terms of food, Glasgow has some of the best curry houses in the UK (try Mother India’s Cafe on Argyle Street). If seafood is more your thing, Rogano is Glasgow’s oldest surviving restaurant – built in 1935, with glamorous art deco fittings, and has a stellar reputation.
For after-dinner beverages, Glasgow has a fantastic array of old pubs, ranging from The Scotia in Stockwell Street (1792) to Sloan’s on Argyle Street (1797), and it’s recommended checking out the West End (which is well serviced by Glasgow’s subway, which otherwise isn’t so useful) for other nightlife options. In terms of music, it’s strongly advised that you check out King Tut’s, a small but highly popular venue where the mighty Oasis were first discovered. It’s 300 capacity, so be sure to get there early.
Viv Egan writes for www.fhr-net.co.uk who provide travel extras at airports across the UK.